National FFA Week: February 20 – 27


    National FFA Week is celebrated annually to take time to recognize the agricultural organization and how members are impacted.

    George Washington was extremely dedicated to agriculture, and that’s why National FFA Week is celebrated during the week of his birthday.

    What is the FFA?
    The FFA, or the Future Farmers of America, is a youth program that teaches leadership skills and prepares students for careers in science, business, and technology in the agriculture field.

    A Bit of History
    The FFA started in 1917, so it’s been going strong for over 100 years! What started out as a statewide vocational agricultural organization for Virginia students quickly gained national status.

    The New Farmers was an organization for African-American agriculture students, and the Future Farmers of American actually operated parallel to the New Farmers initially. The civil rights era in 1965 caused a merger of the two groups, allowing them to function as one.

    An interesting fact to note is that the constitution and bylaws of the “New Farmers of Virginia” (written by H.O. Sargent who was a federal agent for agricultural education for African-Americans and G.W. Owens, a teacher-trainer at Virginia State College) served as the foundation for the constitution and bylaws of the FFA.

    The National FFA was established in 1928.

    The first National FFA week was held in Kansas City, MO, in 1948. Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin all had member representation at this first national gathering.

    FFA chapters all over the country celebrate National FFA week, and a national convention takes place during this annual celebration.

    Popular FFA Members
    Some well-known figures include Jimmy Carter, Johnny Cash, Lyle Lovett, and John Mellencamp. More modern-day members are Taylor Swift and Beyoncé.

    How to Celebrate and Observe
    – Tell others about FFA and how it impacts members
    – Thank an agriculture teacher! Wed. during FFA Week is Ag Teacher Appreciation Day
    – Invite others to join FFA
    – Raise money for local food banks
    – Donate food or time to a local food pantry
    – Start a canned food drive
    – Plant a community garden and educate people about how to grow their own food
    – Attend an FFA event
    – Wear blue to show off your FFA pride
    – Promote and follow FFA on social media; use #FFAweek whenever you share

    Get involved and show your support during FFA Week! There are plenty of in-person and virtual opportunities.